Breaking: Lang Lang quits his agent

Breaking: Lang Lang quits his agent


norman lebrecht

May 17, 2017

It is reported that the Chinese pianist has signed with CAA, the Los Angeles talent and sports agency, ‘in all areas’.

This will include ‘his touring, soundtracks, digital content, endorsements, personal appearances and philanthropy.’

That’s a huge move for a classical artist.

Subject to confirmation, it means that Lang Lang has parted company with Cami Music and its boss, Jean-Jacques Cesbron, who has directed his career from the outset. Earlier this year, Cesbron lost the influential Chinese conductor Long Yu, who is Lang Lang’s close collaborator.

The move will also mean that Lang Lang is hungry for an even bigger slice of the celebrity lifestyle.

Lang Lang with Cesbron (r.)


UPDATE: Lang Lang – I’m with CAMI.


  • NN says:

    Cesbron is most probably the man on the left but definitely not the one at the right of the pic.

  • Derek says:

    He did not start out with J-J, but with Earl Blackburn at IMG.

    • Robert Fitzpatrick says:

      Correct. And then, when Earl moved to Opus 3, I believe that L2 did not follow. I’m not sure of Edna Landau’s role in this.

      • Nick says:

        LL certainly started out with IMGA who set him on the road to success – although you will find no mention of this in his first autobiography (no doubt there will be several more)! He moved to CAMI after Cesbron promised to make him a world superstar. Allegedly he told Edna Landau hat IMGA was too old-fashioned tomachieve this for him!

        • Hannah says:

          You made the exact same comment about LL and Landau on Feb 10th, do you not have anything new to say? In LL’s father’s biography he talked about Landou, how it was all her that started his career and introduced him to Simon Rattle. She handled both LL and Kissin at the same time, also an opportunity came from Cami.

          • Nick says:

            I made it clear I was referring to Lang Lang’s own ghosted 2009 ‘autobiography’ – not the later one written by his father which may well correct the alternative facts contained in LL’s volume.

  • Jason Hicks says:

    Cesbron is on the left. Also, this was CAMI Music’s biggest earner. No way they can survive without him. CAMI is dying (all of it, not just Music).

    • Jonathan Pernil says:

      Correct me if I am wrong, but I was under the impression that CAMI Music was independent of CAMI.

      • Jason HIcks says:

        Hence the confusion in an already mismanaged company. If they are independent, why do they have the same name? Just because Wilford screwed up and created a grey line between the two companies, now one’s failure will affect the other even if they work independently.

      • Anon says:

        It was, and is.

  • alvaro says:

    Good luck. In this day and age they will try as they may to create awareness for a pianist unknown by 99% of the world.

    They will fail….the age in which classical artists were Beyonce/Shakira-Level superstars is long gone and wont come back.

    They can surely try, but no amount of push can offset consumer’s habits. Piano/Unsung content is just not there, unless it is house or some form of new-age crap.

    Or maybe they will try the liberace formula….but even that is doomed to fail.

    • Xijuan Zhang says:

      Maybe they will try to target Lang Lang towards Chinese customers. Classical music is blooming in China. So many kids are studying piano in China. Plus Lang Lang is already so famous in China.

      • Nick says:

        I understand CAMI never handled China. He is so huge there, gets massive fees for his concerts and recitals and has several major endorsements generating millions. He does not need an agency there. Same as Yundi, LL and his father handle the contracts. The deal with CAA will probably cover the rest of the world, although perhaps an occasional ‘spectacular’ and corporate events in China.

  • Nigel says:

    The play here is to exploit across multiple platforms – Concert, Recording TV and Film and CAA plays across all. It actually could work, however, I don’t see L2 acting in films and hosting talk shows like a Harry Connick, Jr., so maybe it’s just a matter of him needing to move to get away from the JJ/CAMI “stuff” and not really believing in the other “classical” agencies that are left in business. It sort of makes sense. One thing is certain, someone will be buying fewer lap dances due to the loss of income.

  • Bill Berg says:

    He’s trying to jump start his career again – new agent, new label (Decca or DGG). He feels he’s being left behind the “new” generation and he’s correct. Not sure any of this will actually help.

  • Jeffrey Biegel says:

    The real test of a career happens after the initial excitement, as big as it may be. Most of the artists we remember from history had evolved in their later years, through performances, recordings, teachings, and writings. Although the recordings of these young artists amass more than those of the last century artists in their youth, nothing ever guarantees longevity in a world where everything sold has a shorter shelf life due to new product and the increased speed of promoting new products and people in the 21st century. There will always be buzz in something new, no matter what or who it is, which creates the great challenge to almost reinvent the wheel to sustain a physical presence. There are ways to do this on any level, but it must be tailored to the person, and not just a generic formula to maintain presence. There are no Cinderella stories, and careers take years to maintain and sustain.

  • Hannah says:

    The story is not entirely true, confirmed with LL himself, Cesbron is still his manager.

    • norman lebrecht says:

      We’re waiting to hear from them. Whatever spin they put on it, Lang Lang has at the very least taken his high-earning activities away from Cesbron.

    • Lisa says:

      Perhaps two agencies covers two different areas, one is for classical, the other is for film/TV sound tracks and crossovers.

  • Pierre-André Kranz says:

    Interesting how this piece of news create such activity. Yet, fact is that LL might not that classical musician after all. And we wish him a nice trip. There are so many more interesting pianists…